tv Book Discussion on A Higher Form of Killing CSPAN May 24, 2015 4:45pm-5:55pm EDT
>> good evening, ladies and gentlemen, my name is matt and i serve as the president of the world war one museum and memorial. we are delighted to welcome you to this really, i think, what is going to be an energizing conversation this evening. we are thankful and welcome to the museum and memorial. if you are unfamiliar with the museum welcome. if you are not familiar we are glad you are here. we are hoping you take time to come back and spend time at the galleries and in the park with the memorial. the museum was assigned by congress as the national museum. the memorial was only given the defender of last year in 2014.
british in australia. we live in a world that was birthed hundred years ago. the world was forever changed by the 20th century world war one and we live in that shadow still experiencing it's affect and induring impact to this very day. one of those legacies is how people die and how they are killed or perhaps more particularly who is killed. in the summer of 1915 during the first year of world war one we started to kill differently and those targeted and killed were changed. tonight's speaker identifies three pivotal events as birther a few warfare. the use of gas, the target of people with militia on board as
evidence of the manifest and the bombing of london. the rules changed and they are fluid to this very day. diana preston is here and she will deliver her presentation and and afterwards there is a brief q&a period. diana preston born and raised in london she studied at oxford and became involved in journalism and became a free-lance writer. she has reviewed several publications and begin a broadcaster for the bbc and featured on various television
interviews. please join me in welcoming tonight's speaker diana preston. [applause] >> thank you very much for those kind words. it is a great honor to be in this museum with you this evening. six weeks were full of 1916 the stages of the 1st world war as we have just been hearing three pivotal events happened that signaled a change in the very nature of warfare. and that is what i would like to discuss with you this evening. it is one of the stories riddled with irony. to talk about this i need to go back to before the first world
here we have the people responsible for the mighty dread along the way. despite results expressed by fischer and by his american counterparts this gentlemen here and the american admiral, the second world conference outbombed areas and used poise poison weapons including gases. but what about war at sea?
despite suggests by jacky fischer and admiral that the rules of the merchant ships that started from 1612 and in fact from the time of this being constant henry the eighth was there as well. these rules were outdated and impractical and relate today a submarine these were left unaltered. but what was the affect of this? that legally the new technology of the submarine would have to bend to these old even archaic rules that prohibited attacks on enemy merchant weapons requiring them to be stopped searched
and if contraband was discovered like war material, it could be then taken to the lifebird. the effort of the hague conference did little to stop the arms race. a 1914 cat strophic event. this picture here taken just minutes before the assassination. breaking out between the german and australia and hungarian province. and they only joined for war on
the russian side following germany's invasion with disregard of international law. the german chancellor this gentlemen here argued that his work here was the briting being hypocritical in harping on what he was a scrap of paper. he meant a treaty under which the europeans have downplayed the belgium neutrality.
respect for the international world and expedeancy were priorities. as we know we have germany's army being successful by the ultimate 1914 camp in the east and the west on enemy territory. by the end of that year, people are stabalized the position. we have a line running 400 miles from switzerland to the north sea. and we have both sides debating about how we can break the stalemate. the discussion in germany was particularly intense.
for the purpose of submarines and unrestricted warfare they were doing this with proving the steamers and scanning the bottom of the ocean with ships. he said the shipping can be learned or shipping trade was ending at sea. we have something significant happening and germany announced the return of army restrictive submarine warfare where ships would be sunk without warning in a war zone. that war zone was in this hatched area that you see on this diagram here.
a statement or procedure giving con by the uk and by president woodrow wilson and secretary of state william jennings a little later on. with the delight we know that by march 1950 submarines were already lying wait outside of liverpool and in the northwest indian hoping to attack the liners there. the liner here were the largest and most luxury of them all providing a transatlantic service. ...
why? partly because his feelings for his british relations, his british cousins were highly ambivalent. he didn't wish to either kill them or destroy their palaces or those landmarks of which he was fond. some of those veteran airships that would do the bombing also equivocated between morality and or war-winning expediency. he considered that that -- [inaudible] is repulsive when it kims and maims -- when it kills and maims old women and children. then perhaps what is ode yous in the -- would give way to
something fine and powerful. all that flies he said, should be concentrated on that city. what about poison gas? the debate here was less extensive. i think partly because it was intended for battlefield use against troops and partly because it was such a new option. the military use of -- [inaudible] was pioneered by this gentleman here, fritz harbor, a german chemist who was head of the institute in berlin. mayber was working in such -- abeer was working in such haste that there was an explosion in his lab. gas would shorten the war
producing not only casualties, but panic -- [inaudible] psychological warfare. by january 1915haber had a weapon sufficiently advanced for him to be able to demonstrate it to an enthusiastic german high command. while the answer to breaking a military stalemate was seen by this gentleman here winston churchill, at the time first lord of the admiralty -- [inaudible] to attack germany's ally turkey. [inaudible] were responsible for britain's defenses both against -- [inaudible] and against aerial bombardment -- [inaudible]
although -- [inaudible] they took very few measures to counteract the new underwater threat. what about air attack? despite churchill's skepticism about airships which he described as gaseous monsters or enormous bladders of combustible and explosive gas he recognized the possibility of bombing raids on london. he instituted a blackout as well as positioning search lights and guns. but beyond that there was relatively little that he could do since the piloted aircraft at the time could scarcely reach the altitudes around 10,000 feet at which the planes flew. the world's first poison gas
attack came on the morning of 22nd of april 1915, at half past five. when the wind -- [inaudible] releasing 168 tons of it on french and canadian trenches. what were the effects? chlorine is a powerful irritant. it damages eyes, nose, throats and lungs. it causes death by asphyxiation. the release of the greenish-yellow cloud was personally supervised by haber who wrote: during wartime, a scientist belongs to his country. in peacetime belongs to the world. french troops abandoned their
positions leaving a four-mile-wide gap in the lines, the canadians did hold firm and the german soldiers themselves fearing to advance into the gas failed to take advantage of the breach. but we have some idea of the effect of this gas. a german -- a french general described what he wrote as some 100 poor fellows -- [inaudible] to give them all the air they could get. but slowly drowning with water in their lungs. it was he said, a most horrible sight, and the doctors quite powerless. over the next few days, we have german troops launching further gas attacks. this time on the british as well as on the french and the canadians. allied soldiers simply had to improvise -- [inaudible]
sometimes soaked in a -- [inaudible] add rudimentary masks to combat the gas. but one scottish soldier described how it felt. he wrote of gasping gasping for breath. as you said although to quote him, my body recovered, by -- i was wounded in my mind, and that psychological effect was exactly what had been intended. meanwhile the war minister, lord kitchener, depicted in this poster here he replied to a request from his commander in the field for the means to retaliate saying that before we fall to the level of the degrade germans, i have to submit this matter to government can. to government. but the british government took very little time to agree to initiate british production of gas. haber -- [inaudible] that the german high command
hadn't given him enough time to deliver much larger supplies of chlorine. he later complained that if they had followed my advice and made a large scale attack instead of the experiment, he called it, germany would have won war. would have won the war. but meanwhile, the 30th of april just eight days after the first gas attack we had the german -- [inaudible] commanded by -- [inaudible] i'm not saying -- [inaudible] the german embassy in washington sending a letter to be published in the new york papers the following morning. thus on first of may people sitting in their apartments opening those newspapers saw something rather strange. the german statement warning american passengers and others
not to take passage on british or allied ships at bottom there juxtaposed with a -- [inaudible] advertisement advertising the sailing of its ships including the lucetania that very afternoon. let's just take a little closer look at that german notice. you see it's absolutely specific at the bottom say anybody intending to sail on ships of great britain or britain's allies into the war zone do so at their own risk. but very few passengers changed their plans. most of them like the -- [inaudible] vanderbilt here standing next to the theatrical impresario charles furman trusted in the statement by the -- [inaudible] charles sumner that the lucetania's great speed the vastness of the atlantic would
protect her from threatened attacks by german u-boats -- [inaudible] but as well as her passengers, the lucetania was carrying perfectly legally, i should say many cases of wellington rifle ammunition. and it was -- [inaudible] on the evening of the 6th of may that her captain, william turner here would -- [inaudible] warning from the british admiralty who by this stage of the war were breaking the german naval codes and who told him that german submarines were active in the area that his ship was about to enter. tusher warned -- turner warned his passengers to please, not to smoke on deck that night, draw their curtains tight so as not to show a light, but we no many were far too nervous to go
below decks. they slept in the public rooms. and it was the next day the 7th of may our ship, the lucetania was just off the coast of ireland, and that smudge of land on the horizon i think reassured many of the passengers. however at 2:10 that afternoon walter schweiger in the u20 had the lucetania in his sights, and he ordered his torpedo officer to fire. a look out on -- [inaudible] what he later called white streaks running across the surface of the water. he said it was -- [inaudible] drawing on the ocean with a piece of chalk, two white lines streaming out behind it. the torpedo, of course. a passenger felt what he called a slight shock through the deck, and then a terrific explosion. a column of water rose high in
the air, came raining down on the deck followed up by secondary and tertiary explosions from deep within the ship. this was a drawing done by a survivor that was later published in the illustrated london news. just 18 minutes later after immediately taking a -- [inaudible] to starboard that 30,000-ton ship slipped beneath the waves. the crowded lifeboats had dropped into the water men and women had leapt into the sea trying to swim -- [inaudible] we have one american passenger, bostonian charles -- [inaudible] who described his valiant rescue attempts. he managed to pull people into a lifeboat, but he says he heard from some of the drifting debris around him a woman's voice saying please, won't you help
me? you know i can't swim. and he said looking around, he saw that woman. and she had half a smile on her face and she was placidly chewing gum. i salute that woman. he pulled her in and got her to safety. but that night as another survivor wrote a fastly procession of rescue ships drew alongside -- [inaudible] as we call it today. the corpses were stacked like cordwood among the paint pegs and the corners of rope on the shadowy old wharves. of the 1959 people who had been aboard that ship 1198 had died including 128 citizens of the then-neutral united states and 94 children. the germany government -- [inaudible]
for the german newspaper a triumph of our courage, seamanship and superior technology. among those who were delighted was the crown prince to who telegraphed his father from the western front to tell him of the great joy among the troops at the news and to say that -- [inaudible] could be persecuted the faster the war would end. sitting on the 8th of may the very day after the sinking here in the 17th century courthouse just up the coast from -- [inaudible] we have the irish coroner recording the verdict of willful murder by the german authorities on the deaths of the victims. too late, he received an urgent message from the british admiralty that was order toking him to halt that inquest for fear of revealing naval secrets. why? it was also because churchill here and admiral fisher standing
side by side were coming under criticism in the press and in parliament about why they hadn't done more to protect the lucetania. but there was also something else at work. fisher and churchill feared incorrectly as it later turned out that the large quantities of american rifle ammunition being imported in the ship's cargo might have exploded at the moment the torpedo hit hastening the ship's end. had this been true, it would have -- [inaudible] some of the massive propaganda advantage that the sinking had brought her. she had the world's sympathy didn't want anything to be said that would undermine that. as a result they began orchestrating a cover-up to deceive the inevitable public inquiry that they knew would be held into loss. but meanwhile in germany we have this lady here, wife of
fritz haber herself a chemist, quarreling with her husband who had just returned to berlin about the morality of his use of poison gas. and on the 15th of may a mere three weeks after that first gas attack, we know that she was so distressed that she took her husband's service revolver, went into the garden of their berlin villa and shot herself. that same day haber left as planned for the eastern front to continue and refine the use of chlorine gas to be used now as a weapon against the russianings. but he -- russians. but he sooned returned to berlin to oversee work on the more lethal gas. it is now that we move on to the bombing campaign. on the 30th of may, 1915, the kaiser finally permitted the bombing of london.
it was towards dusk the next day when 40 days after the first gas take 24 since the lucetania sank and on the 303rd day of the first world war two veterans -- each 530 feet long 60 foot in diameter and filled with over a million cubic feet of gas -- took off to attack london. one of them had to turn back, but this veteran -- [inaudible] commanded by -- [inaudible] at its top speed of just over 60 mph. around 11 p.m., his air ship was over the london residential district of -- [inaudible] on which he dropped the first bomb ever before on the city. no one was seriously injured, but from there the airship
looped south over the city, dropping bombs -- [inaudible] were a whiskey distillery, a synagogue and a bamboo furniture factory. here we have a picture of the devastation of that first raid on london. seven people were killed including an 8-year-old boy, samuel reuben on his way home from the cinema and 35 people were injured. the veteran captain described how he released one of the most damaging bombs. his words here. he said: my finger hovered on the button that electrically operated the bombing apparatus. i pressed it and waited it. minutes seemed to pass before the above the humming sound of the engines their rose a shattering roar, a cascade of orange sparks shot upwards, and a billow of incandescent smoke
drifted slowly away to reveal a red gash of raging fire on the face of the wounded city. in the aftermath a london coroner's inquest heard how a middle-aged married couple had been trapped by fire in their bedroom. they were discovered dead kneeling by their bed as if in prayer. the husband's arm around his wife. the coroner's verdict on those killed was willful murder by germany, exactly as it had been on the sinking of the lucetania three weeks earlier. in the united states we have the government under president wilson by now arguing about just how far to press their process to germany about -- [inaudible]
most u.s. public opinion had been massively hostile to the thinking. but william jennings bryan, secretary of state, was worried that wilson's approach to the allies was becoming far too biased. he'd even been worried about this before the loss of the lucetania. and one day in cabinet he said the his colleagues, you're not being fair. you people are simply not being neutral. you are taking sides. he got a very dusty response from the president. he went home that weekend to think things over, and when the weekend ended he resigned knowing it would be the end of his political career that he would be reviled. and he was correct. this is very typical of the sort of cartoons that appeared in the american press. what we're seeing is the kaiser applauding bryan's reasons for resigning. but meanwhile at just this time
in london admiralty officials were bidly preparing their evidence to put -- busily preparing their evidence to put before the -- [inaudible] for a while they even considered scapegoating poor old captain turner here, but they then had the idea of suggesting that what had caused the lucetania to sink so fast was that she had been sunk by two torpedoes, not the single one that they knew perfectly well from decoded german messages had actually been fired. accordingly they selected witnesses prepared to back up their story. they wouldn't allow those with other stories to tell to appear. and the inquiry itself, indeed can, placed the blame unequivocally on germany whose submarine, it concluded, had fired the two or more torpedoes that had hit the ship.
there was a in this museum of the inquiry's conclusions. but meanwhile while that inquiry had been sitting the the public in london had nervously been speculating about the possibility of another zeppelin raid. and their fears were proved correct on the night of the 17th of august when the airship l10 dropped bombs at random over london before returning unscathed to base. this time hitting the heart of the city, the old gate region which some of you may know. this raid on settled -- unsettled londoners even further. in what we called zeppelinwet dark can fine nights, london -- [inaudible] reporting much smaller audiences. an american reporter who was in london described one zeppelin raid. he said --
[inaudible] a long gone airship. it is dyed yellow, the color of the harvest moon. the long fingers of search lights reaching up from the city are touching all sides of the death messenger with their white tips. great bombing shakes the city. it is the sound of veteran bombs falling, killing burning. and another onlooker recalled seeing a streak of fire shooting down straight at me. he said i've stared at it, hardly comprehending. the bomb struck -- [inaudible] just a few -- [inaudible] 22 people -- [inaudible] and next day londoners demonstrated out in the streets for better protection. but what about gas? on the 25th of september, 1915, the british, who had at first
vehemently condemned germany's use of it just five months priestly, made their own military use of it. the attack failed. the winds changed it blew a lot of the gas back over the british troops. the wrong turning piece had been sent with many of the 5,000 cylinders of chlorine so that the contents could simply not be released. even worse german shelling exploded some of the cylinders, causing yet more damaging gas to escape into the british lines. in fact as 1915 drew to a close, none of the three technologies had had a decisive effect. then in spring 1966, we have the -- 1916, we have the kaiser giving into u.s. demands that germany cease its unrestricted submarine campaign.
admiral jackie fisher wrote his adversary a frank and concerning letter. this is what he said. you're the one german sailor who understands war. kill your enemy without being killed yourself. he said i don't blame you for the submarine business, i'd have done the same myself. yours til hell freezes. however, germany, of course returned to submarine warfare against her cabot shipping rater -- merchant shipping later that year. president wilson again protested. this time the kaiser refused to budget, and in spring 1917 the united states declared war, joining the allies. but although nearly two years had passed, we can see how potent the memory of the lucetania still was. this is a recruitment poster which is a copy in the museum here. if you look at the original you'll see that single word is
superimposed over the image of a drowning lucetania passenger. in "the new york times," news correspondents reported american troops advancing into battle in 1917-'18 shouting "remember the lucetania," and one contemporary commentator said that although in 1915 the louis tean town ya has -- lucetania had failed to deliver americans to liverpool boats delivered american troops to the western front. all the participants continued to use poison gas for the remainder of the war, either released from cylinders or often as gas-filled artillery shells. we know that at the wore's conclusion allied stocks of poisoned gases were much larger
than the german ones. fritz haber here has continued to lead the german development of ever more lethal gases such as mustard gas which caused skin burns as well as injuring eyes and lungs. scottish soldiers particularly badly affected because they refused to wear anything other than kilts on their bodies. but haber argued even after the end of the first world war that to quote, the use of gas was a way of saving countless lives if it meant that the war could be brought to an end sooner. indeed he said gas was a higher form of killing the title of my book. but a bombing, the indiscriminate bombing in london continued. eventually -- [inaudible] was overtaken by that of british fighter planes, and germany's turn to leave --
[inaudible] their attacks led to the stretching of emergency services to near panic amongst the city's inhabitants and many deaths including 18 children when one school in the east end took a direct hit. but what were the consequences of all this after the war ended? after world war i, disarmament conferences reaffirmed the bounds on the use of gas but not on search of stockpiling it. this was in the 1925 geneva protocols. they also banned the bombing of civilian areas and the sinking without warning of merchant shipping. but, of course as we go through the 1930s we see these prohibitions chjed. 1936 i apologize of this awful image to show you, the italians
used mustard fast gas. japan did the same in their invasion of china. worried that germany like italy, might -- in spite of having ratified that geneva protocol -- might be prepared to use gas in any future conflict, we have britain and france building up stocks of gas to retaliate if necessary. they also took precautions. by 1938 the british, for example had issued 30 million gas masks for the public including respirators for babies. their greatest fear was that attacking bombers would release gas. the bombers' destructive power had again been shown a year earlier -- [inaudible] during the spanish civil war when german and italian planes killed 1600 people and leading
the british archbishop of canterbury to own a phrase all too familiar to us today weapons of mass destruction to describe their bombings. such was the fear of mass bombing and of gas bombing in particular. but when world war ii broke out in september 1939, in britain everyone was ordered always to carry a gas mask with them, and children were evacuated out of london away from any new blips. one government estimate came across were in the first three weeks of a bombing offensive, a quarter of a million londoners would die three to four million would flee and perhaps as many as a million would become psychiatric cases. of course both sides bombed extensively in world war ii. london, as we see here, suffered another blitz.
>> also both sides reverted to unrestricted submarine warfare. we had tons of allied shipping when shipyards could only shell out this. it brought victory to their lives in the battle of the atlantic atlantic. no country with access or allied use in the settled world war except for japan and china is the first example of the success of mutual deterance.
had churchill thought of using it? yes. he championed for the use of poison gas as a last result against any german invasion. he shot off a memorandum that said i want you to think seriously over the question of using poisonous gas? he would not use it unless it was shown it was life or death or shorten the war by a year. he said it is absurd to consider morality on the topic. in the last war, the bombing of citizens was forbidden and now it is dubbed a measure of course. president roosevelt resisted
poplar calls to use gas against japan expressed in headlines, and using veterans with gas. that is not to say there were not british or american deaths due to poison gas. the allies want supplies at hand so they can retaliate against the disease. in december of 1943 the ss john harvey was lying in italy with a cargo on board of u.s. manufactured mustered gas. hundred german bombers attacked the port sinking the ship and releasing a segignificant amount of the gas. nearly 2,000 people military and civilians, died in the raid directly because of the gas. today that 1925 geneva protocol
i mentioned wasn't ratified until the 1970's prohibiting the use of chemicals remains in force. but as we all know poison gas has been used since the second world war. in the yemen civil war in the 1960s, by iraq in the iraq-iran war, in the 1980's iraq's use of gas -- i meant to show you the john harvey earlier, i apologize. but iraq attacked the whole population of kurds here in march of 1988 when 5,000 kurds were killed. iraq undoubtedly posesed poison gas during the 1991 gulf war that didn't use it.
and after the war iraq agreed to give up its weapons of mass destruction and many were destroyed. however, allied suspicion that iraq obtained some was a key stated reason for the 2003 invasion of iraq. the only md discovered was someone 500 aged elderly mustered gast shells. in 1997 we have the u.s. the ussr, and other countries including the uk bringing into force a new chemical weapon convention prohibiting research on the use of such weapons and mandating the gradual destruction of existing stops. but of course we have all seen the news of the civil war in syria firing nerve gas, mustered
gas, and chlorine gas have been used. as for submarines after the second world war submarines became an increasingly part of the formations. we have the briting -- british tridents under debate as the bombing continues to be use. greater degrees of justification to be avoiding civilian targets. something which has come easier with sophisticated cycle systems. never the less, errors continue too made and collateral damage accepted as a consequence of the suffering to deploy air power rather than expose your own planes to greater hazard. to conclude i think looking back over a century of six weeks
in 1915 where we began three actions we looked at remain resident milestones. in 1918 this gentlemen here commented that the one phase of impressionism which is likely to permanently remain is systematic utilization of the scientific experts by the military use of poison gas supervised violations and fritz harbor and they lost innocence. a fact underlying by the manhattan bomb in the second world war and the potential for biological weapons. i want to leave the very last word on this to albert einstein
who said this at the end of the first world war: it has become important that our technology has exceeded our humanity. we can only hope he was wrong. there i will stop talking and thank you so much. [applause] i will like to invite michael ypres -- preston to come for questioning. there are two microphones. if you are unable to walk down the stairs i can come to you. go ahead and come up. walk down to the other one as well.
>> next month i will going to go to the emperil war museum in england and i understand there are five. are there ones that focus on world war one or topics you talked about? >> the main war museum has probably got some of the best exhibits on the first world war. >> good. >> it is magnificent place to go to particularly at the moment. >> thank you very much.
>> the germans seemed to have a propensity to break international law. what was the reaction from the rest of the world would be to advance the three events you talked about what was the reaction from the rest of the world, if any. thank you. >> the reaction from -- well when we talk about the rest of the world it is probably best to say the neutral world because the response of the allies would be predictable. it was very shocked by the sinking of the submarine with many children and families on board and shocked by the attack in london because it was a direct attack on civilians. people were seeing a new type of warfare but civilians were becoming regarded as targeted.
the shock over the use of mustered gas. that moment still retains today as it did at the time a particularly revolt in people's mind. at the same time this is conscious that we are at war if they saw the weapon of gas being used on the battlefield the thought arose we have to have to same. >> i have thought of the zep lin has kind of silly maybe because it seemed so dangerous to me. did the americans or british make efforts to develop such a program? >> the british did make attempts to build air ships but were unsuccessful.
it seems to be not real. if you read the letters and diaries of people who witness these things drifting across the skies above london. it seemed fantastic and people rose above the beauty of the objects until the bomb fell and the reality hit. you see the impact of people no longer feeling safe anywhere where they.
if you read headlines you find them being called baby killers. i have a couple things. on the subject about the zep lins in today's star there was an interesting article about the air attacks by the japanese toward the end of world war ii. they put balloons in the air that landed on the west sewscoast and there was a good story about the innocent victims in that. i wanted to talk about what you spoke about the response of the neutral world.
what is is your response to killings? >> i know about leaders in the united kingdom who preached about a just war. and i know in germany among various religious groups but i know a rabbi in berlin talked about a just war people should be supporting but i don't know what the pope's position was on it. >> in the hague peace treaty i
think 1904 i thought there was always besides the poisonous gas and the submarines there was an explosive ammunition part of that. of course all of the killing that took place with the artillery. i wonder if you would elaborate on that. >> what was banned in the first convention was the use of dumb dumb bullets. they exploded in the body causing a bigger mess within it than if you were shot with an ordinary bullets. they continued to be banned. they were used among others by the briting in conflicts before the first world war. ordinary exploding shells the high explosives, developed in
the world of crux and people were not banned in that sense. >> i read a bit about fritz harbor who was accused of his role and he really had great photographs. those were really fantastic. >> we did quite a little work in archives in berlin. there was a collection of fritz harbor papers that were brought together in the area they call garland. this was the hub of berlin at the time for the different institutes funded under egypt. there were photographs and items there and we had quite a lot of assistance from the archive people who talked about the
harbor and shared things. we found the dualities of them and later what happened to him because he was of jewish background having to flee the country in 1933 and come to england. that was the country he devoted most of his career and found himself rejected as an outcast and he was no longer allowed to enter the institute. >> i remember reading that part. it was an interesting part of his history; the fact he was jewish. than happened a lot i understand. a lot of brilliant jewish scientist that left and not all of them did leave. >> it was very good some of them left because they helped develop the atomic weapon here rather than somewhere else.
>> this comes back to the question of the way we perceive poisonous gas. when he came to britain, they set-up a trust to set-up academic institutions in the united kingdom. they were prepared to help him find someone to work. it is a leading member of the british establishment. and the new zealander wasn't prepared to shake his hand because he was the first user of poison gas. >> i know there are more questions out there but there is a time afterwards for diannea and michael. we have one last question. >> i have been watching this movie called the 14 diaries of war on netflix and they touch on the gas used by the germans and
talk about how the tactic changed from mass killings to not killing everybody but exhausting them. the psychological affect and exhausting them of the british and french to care for them. when did that tactic place and when was that the norm? >> it was always part of the tactic. psychological attack and the years went on by getting the troops to be wearing gas masks and on the look out to have them stressed and make their fighting ability less because you can fight much less well with of the equipment. that came about the mustered gas and they would put tear gas with
the others. and an american general said the greatest benefit to military of gas was not the that it killed people people. >> this is one of the things that harbor wrote at the beginning. he talked about the psychological issues the gas planted in people's mind. they would always be wired about whether it was to be deployed against them. this is much more significant to him for the physical damage that the gas can cause. [applause] thank you. >> this has been a rich evening.
i want to throw your attention to a new exhibitition.. the museum has worked on this one with more than 20 countries of the more than 150 objects, including many of the things discussed including deck chairs various gas masks and related products. of the more than 150 objects only one has been previously exhibited. i wanted to make two brief comments about memorial day here at the museum and memorial. two things to say during that weekend we have an 80 percent scale replica of the vietnam wall. nearly 400 feet long on the south lawn open throughout the weekend from friday-monday. we invite you to bring your
friends to that. and also on memorial day on the 25th 10 a.m. is our primary ceremony and the museum on that day on that monday will be open without charge. so we invite you to be a part of it. check out the website for a list of more than 20 activities during the memorial day weekend. please join me in thanking diana preston for deeply engaging presentation. you will hear her on npr soon and watch out for her on c-span. thank you, diana. [applause]
>> cspan has booktv every weekend. keep watching for more. >> and booktv visited capital hill to ask members of the congress what they are reading >> i have taught economics for the past 18 years and seminary before that so i read a combination of economics and ethics. people thought that was a joke but i take it seriously starting with hidden in plain sight by peter wallace. it is the causes of the financial crisis. if you don't have account of the causes it is hard to solve the issue going forward. we don't want that happening